Gap year team building project

This team built this house for a large local family to replace a worn out, falling down shack in three months

Gap Year & Career Breaks

Gap Year in Tanzania

Join us for your Gap Year or take a Career Break
  • Are you interested in taking a Gap Year or Career Break? You can spend anything between one and six months with us and make a real difference to the lives of the people in Tanzania 
     

  • Go Make A Difference is involved in a number of practical projects on an ongoing, year-round basis so you'll normally be able to choose how you want to spend your time to best utilise your skills and interests
     

  • Are you considering taking a break from your job to do something more meaningful? Many of our volunteers come for a sabbatical year and come to help as teachers, nurses, physios or doctors. You could be a builder, an electrician, a plumber, an artist... Any skill you have could make a difference to people's lives in Tanzania

Medical student elective Musoma Tanzania
Medical elective

Last year, James, a fourth year medical student at Newcastle University, came to assist our medical initiatives in Tanzania and spent five weeks with us. He wanted to experience life in remote health clinics and to analyse the differences between healthcare in Tanzania and the UK. 

 

James partnered with our in-country health worker, Hezbon, and involved himself in a wide range of activities including shadowing a doctor and nurse at a Health Centre which was built by Go MAD. He led talks for the local community on topics such as First Aid and assisted the testing of students at health screening events in schools. James also observed and offered advice to a local doctor at the Coptic Medical Centre and helped with malaria testing of school children in the health screening service financed by Go MAD.

Improving farming techniques, Northern Tanzania
Irrigation project

Last year, due to poor rainfall, there was a real need for water and food in Western Tanzania which usually receives two seasons of rain per year – the short rains (Oct/Nov) and the long rains (Apr/May).

During the 'short rains' in 2016 there was much less rainfall than normal. As such the area surrounding Musoma was in severe drought and so most farmers’ crops failed (other than for wealthier farmers close to Lake Victoria who can afford proper irrigation systems from the lake). As a result, last January, the price of a sack of maize (the staple ingredient in the diets of most rural Tanzanians) doubled due to food shortages.

                 

We built two of our largest water tanks (19,000 litres) and set up a small irrigation project providing work for the local people.

Income generation in rural Tanzania
Heshima - women's group

In 2016, a team of 20 volunteers came to Tanzania for three months and within that time they built a house! This replaced the home of a local family whose house was falling down.

 

They also built up some momentum for our women’s group - Heshima. This project helps support women in the village of Mkiringo with employment. The name means ‘dignity’. The group involves women who make starter packs for the Menstrual Health Project, which gives out reusable pads to girls at school. The girls are taught about the changes within their bodies, menstrual health and personal hygiene. We aim to reach 900 girls over the next five months across 10 schools. We are very thankful for the positive impact this is having on the girls and their education. It's not all hard work though as they also went on safari in the Serengeti. 

“It is so rewarding to see that the projects here do not only provide temporary solutions. They also give long-term skills that the local people can put to use in future employment.”

Kyamajoje Health Centre, Tanzania
Kyamajoje Health Centre, Tanzania

Around 14,000 people live in the village of Kyamajoje with no access to healthcare facilities. The government approached Go MAD to see if we were able to build a health centre. Over 200 Go MAD volunteers were involved in this project. The hope is that this new health centre will see vast improvements in the health of the whole village and significantly reduce the infant and adult mortality rates. It is a significant step forward in providing good health care to this large and remote community.

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Family water tank, Musoma
Family water tank, Musoma

Water tanks bring safe and clean drinking water to a family. We build 9,000 litre water tanks to collect rain water. Volunteers learn all of the skills needed to complete these projects whilst in-country so no building experience is necessary. Teams use local suppliers to support the local economy and have the opportunity to work alongside local communities in the villages. These building projects make a vital difference to the health and well-being of the members of the local communities.

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Goat shed building, Musoma
Goat shed building, Musoma

Goats can provide a sustainable income –providing nutritious milk which can be drunk by owners or sold on. When a member’s goat has given birth to two female goats, they are given back into the scheme and the member owns any further kids which they can sell to Go MAD. Volunteers really enjoy building the goat sheds from start to completion. There are a variety of tasks involved; digging holes for posts, hammering in nails, sawing wood to size and using an impact screw driver to hang doors.

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Kyamajoje Health Centre, Tanzania
Kyamajoje Health Centre, Tanzania

Around 14,000 people live in the village of Kyamajoje with no access to healthcare facilities. The government approached Go MAD to see if we were able to build a health centre. Over 200 Go MAD volunteers were involved in this project. The hope is that this new health centre will see vast improvements in the health of the whole village and significantly reduce the infant and adult mortality rates. It is a significant step forward in providing good health care to this large and remote community.

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